University of Minnesota

Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from McGuire Junior High School 1999

McGuire Junior High School
21220 Holyoke Ave W
Lakeville, MN 55044

Year: 1999
Teacher(s): Georgie Molitor

Does Temperature Affect a Monarch's Eating Habits?

Amanda M

The eating habits of monarchs were tested in hot, normal, and cold environments.  Some were stored in a big box with a heating pad on the bottom.  Others were in a refrigerator or were in the room temperature.  I wanted to know if temperature changed the amount of food they ate.  Cold affects the caterpillar the most, and hot is better than cold. Normal room temperatures are the best for their eating.  When looking at the charts I noticed patterns and odd data.  I had to throw out some data because it was very odd.  If I did this again I would make sure every one did the exact things to the caterpillars.  I would also have every one record how much the caterpillar ate every day.  I want to know if I did this in the spring, would I get the same results?  Temperature affects a monarchs eating.  Normal is the best, and hot is better than cold.  This experiment explains why butterflies migrate.  The monarchs do what is best for them and stay in a normal temperature.

How Does Temperature Affect Growth?

Tim S

Monarch larvae were placed in three boxes with different temperatures; hot, cold, and room temperature.  All of the boxes were completely dark.  I wanted to find the affect that the temperature had on the monarchs (of all stages).  The average sizes of the larvae in the control box were about the same as the average sizes of the larvae placed in darkness. The average size of the larvae in the control box may have been caused by the darkness.  The cold temperature slowed down the larvae growth process.  The hot temperature caused the larvae and pupae to be slightly smaller than normal. In a future test, each variable would have two boxes.  One box would be completely dark, the other would be light.  Data would be collected and analyzed to see if the temperature or the amount of light was the cause of the results found in the previous test.

Monarchs and Food: Do Monarchs Prefer Common Milkweed?

Andrea B

Twelve monarch caterpillars in the first instar through the fifth instar were tested on two different kinds of milkweed.  Six caterpillars ate regular milkweed and six caterpillars ate swamp milkweed.  Every morning all of the caterpillars would get their cage cleaned and supplied with fresh milkweed.  The purpose of the experiment was to see which of the two kinds of food, regular milkweed and swamp milkweed, would affect the size, weight, and pupating time of a monarch caterpillar.  The regular caterpillars in the experiment grew at normal speed and were normal color, but the ones that ate the swamp milkweed were different.  Two out of the six of the swamp died.  The swamp grew much slower and had thick black stripes.  The swamp milkweed-eating caterpillars also pupated later then the regular caterpillars.  After the butterflies emerged from their chrysalis, four out of the six butterflies died which had eaten regular milkweed and only one out of the four butterflies that ate swamp milkweed died.  One uncertainty of the experiment was could bugs affect the growth of the caterpillars because the caterpillars that ate the swamp milkweed had more bugs on their milkweed compared to regular?

Monarchs and Light: Does Light Affect Color?

Meg S

Caterpillars were raised in full 24 hours of light. For several weeks until pupation, the weight and the length were recorded, along with other visible changes.  The purpose was to test if light affected caterpillar's color, weight, and length.  Light affected color and length a lot, yet weight  hardly changed. The caterpillars seemed to be too close to the light, but that was why they turned out brighter than normal.  A possible uncertainty was they may be too hot, and may suffocate when left in the container as a 3rd instar over a four-day weekend.  I learned a lot about caterpillars, especially about the care and life cycle of caterpillars, and that caterpillars have a diet consisting of milkweed.

Monarchs and Light: How Will Light Affect the Monarchs?

Marlow B

This experiment on monarchs was done to see if the color of a monarch caterpillar will change when it is placed in an all light, in no light or normal light conditions. To make this experiment as valid as possible, the variables temperature, humidity, and noise level were all kept as equal as possible. To complete this experiment we used first instar caterpillars and similar containers. An average monarch butterfly turned out larger than the butterflies in regular light. The data that I found on the colors of the caterpillars in all light was very spread out and I found no pattern in the changes of the colors. An uncertainty in the experiment was that the caterpillars that I tested came from an environment that I didn't know about. Another uncertainty was that the death percentage doubled when the caterpillars were in all light. This could have been because the experiment was not kept at a steady and equal rate.

Monarchs and Magnetism: How Do They Grow?

Brittany D

This experiment was done to see if magnetism affected a monarch's growth. This particular experiment was done because magnets are fascinating, and it would be interesting to find the results of magnetism on monarchs. After larvae have been under magnetism for a day, I carefully measured and recorded each caterpillar's length and weight. After they emerged, I recorded the adult weight and wing length of each butterfly. The results from this experiment can be found by looking at the graphs and data charts. A quick comparison of the size of the bars on the graphs would give enough information to make a conclusion. For example, if the bar showing normal is higher than the one showing magnetized, the normal is bigger. In conclusion, the magnetism affected the growth of the monarchs pretty drastically. It eventually killed every one of the test monarchs, after making them smaller than normal, behave abnormally, and have unusual deformities. Based on the data, monarchs should stay away from anything that gives off magnetism.

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